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Tanya Tagaq – Caribou

song of the week!

Well, by now you should know that Tanya Tagaq took home the Polaris Prize this year.

She wasn’t who I wanted to win, but that’s only because – to put it mildly – I didn’t get it. I didn’t give myself time to get it.

Her music is the kind that needs to be witnessed. Experienced. Just listening to the tracks at home didn’t appeal to me. It was too feral. Too scary. Too dark. I thought to myself, “I don’t really enjoy listening to someone howl and grunt their way through a song.”

But of course, that’s the point. The album is called Animism after all.

I’ve never been shy to admit I get stuck in lyric driven music far too often, which can sometimes lead to closing myself off to other genres.

And that is why the Polaris Prize is such a great thing. Not because it gives awards to music – as last years winners Godspeed felt the need to point out isn’t that amazing of a thing to do – but because it shines a light on music you might not otherwise take a chance on.

The fact that an aboriginal artist finally took home the prize is a big deal. As many pointed out, with this being the 9th Polaris, it is long overdue. And I’m glad it went to an artist whose music is so visceral, so honest, so unapologetic and in your face about her roots and her culture.

If you watched her stunning performance before she took home the award, you’ll know it went to the right artist. With names of all the missing aboriginal women currently out there scrolling behind her, and a choir backing up her throat singing, you’d be inhuman not to feel something – too many things – watching it. This is music from the gut. It is all emotion. Overwhelming emotion. Try not to tear up.

This is music that skips right past your head (where lyrics live) and goes to the root of how it feels to be alive. There’s no filter. No need to overanalyze as humans so often do. It is raw and angry and passionate. It is sound in its purest form.

Her vocal abilities capture all the sounds of life, from birth to death and everything in between. I’ve never seen anything like it, and that is why it so deservedly won. Being truly original is such a rare thing in music these days.

If you are new to the unique music she makes as I was, start with her cover of the Pixies “Caribou” below or here if the stream stops working. It’ll ease you into the brilliance of what she does, without scaring you away if you’re unfamiliar with the raw nature of throat singing.


Today’s Quote – Work Ethic

kevin hart

I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is in a ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guy is sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy is eating, I’m working.


Giveaway – See Lena Dunham at JFL42

Lena Dunham JFL42

By now you all definitely know I am obsessed with Lena Dunham – she is younger than me and she’s already achieved every dream I’ve ever had for my life. I adore her talent, her persistence, her self confidence, the hard work she put in to get where she is, and the way she is changing the worlds perception of what beauty is.

Her first book, a collection of essays titled Not That Kind Of Girl comes out September 30th, and to promote it she’s going on a book tour.

Her Toronto stop will coincide with the upcoming, highly recommended, hilarious comedy festival JFL42.

On September 20th at the Sony Centre she will be interviewed by Jian Ghomeshi, give a reading from the book, and open it up for what is likely to be a fascinating audience Q&A. I am BEYOND excited for this.

Lucky for you, if you want to be there too, you can enter to win one of five pairs of passes to see her courtesy of my friends at JFL42. Follow them on Twitter @JFL42 and find them on Facebook as well.

To win, you must be a subscriber to the weekly post recap newsletter. If you are already a subscriber, just leave a comment below using the email you used to subscribe, so I know you want your name thrown in the hat.

If you’re new, just enter your email into the form below and after you hit the confirmation email you will be entered.

Subscribe here to enter the giveaway:

If you want a bonus entry, Facebook fans can, as usual, like/comment or share my page’s status about this giveaway on Facebook.

Followers can retweet my tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.

And Insta followers can like my photo on Instagram about this giveaway once it’s posted.

You have until September 16th at midnight to enter – winners will be contacted via the email they used to subscribe the next day.



The Best Music Themed Games


We all know that over the past decade, interactive music-themed games have become one of the most popular products in the entertainment market. It makes gaming fun for people like me – who don’t really care that much about Call Of Duty or whatever the popular game is these days.

With that in mind, here are some of the best music based games I’ve ever had the chance to play.

The Beatles: Rock Band

It’s hard to find a music fan who doesn’t love the Beatles – if you’re one of those weirdos who claims they’re overrated – you’re embarrassing yourself. And that is why the Rock Band tribute to them was such a massive success. You could play classic tunes like “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Lady Madonna” and pretty much any other song you wanted. The game was the first to offer three-way harmonies on the vocals, as well as a training zone where you could learn the secret to Ringo Starr’s underrated drumming style.

Just Dance

The Just Dance gave lazy people all over the world a fun way to get in shape. Available on the Nintendo Wii, the game allowed users to dance along to their favourite songs, with points scored on how well they keep in time to the music and routine. If there’s anything the world of gamers needed, it was a reason to get off the couch and start moving. This one truly reinvented what a console game could be.

Vinyl Countdown

As you all know – I’m a sucker for anything vinyl related. Since the rest of the world has noticed the vinyl comeback, an online slot game called Vinyl Countdown (you can play it at has emerged from the minds of a very smart marketing team. The game takes advantage of our nostalgia for music from the days before even CDs existed, while allowing you to play slots with a five reel nine pay line slot and a maximum nine coin bet.

Guitar Hero

Definitely my personal favourite, Guitar Hero lets even the most uncoordinated guitar failure pretend they are Jimi Hendrix. With a massive collection of tracks to jam along to on the guitar controller, the aim is to click the buttons in correspondence with the chords on screen – allowing you to really believe you are somehow learning to play guitar. You almost had me fooled, Guitar Hero. My illusion of grandeur went away when I actually tried to play my guitar.


Red House Painters – Make Like Paper

song of the week!

Way back then, I considered you my best friend. But the last time I saw you, I knew I’d never see you again. 

This 12 minute opus is incredible.

Sometimes people come into your life like a storm, and you truly believe they will be there forever. But storms never last. They take over your life for a period of time – and then they disappear, as fast as they appeared.

When you’re young, storms seem fun and interesting. But then you get older and realize a gentle breeze feels better and doesn’t destroy your house while you hide in the basement.

Enjoy your long weekend, friends.